When I got married, this was what the rabbi (yes, you read that right) said before the actual vows. I find it’s great advice, and if we’d followed it we’d probably still be together, but that’s neither here nor there.

Still, I want to give it to my daughter, as I think it’s beautiful and speaks to the keys of a successful relationship.

From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven, and when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light flows from their united being.

Happiness is not just something that happens. A good marriage must be created. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted. The courtship shouldn’t end after the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives; it is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humor.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. it is giving each other an atmosphere in which each other can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, the dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner. Because to love is one thing, to be loved is another thing, to love and be loved is everything.